Sensory integration is a strange thing. Many people, most in fact, don’t understand how it relates to autism, but it plays a major part in how you or your child with autism spectrum disorder reacts to his or her environment. Their bodies are wired differently than that of a person who is often referred to as “NT” or “neurologically typical.” They have a very immature nervous system. One that cannot tolerate certain senses — sight, smell, sound, touch and taste. Some children cannot stand to be touched, while others crave what is referred to as “proprioceptive input.” Does your child love to crash into your couch? Jump on a trampoline? Constantly “wreck” into walls or other objects? Even bang his or her head into the wall? This is probably a result of sensory integration dysfunction.
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder often cannot feel where their bodies are in space. In order to do so, they must constantly stimulate their nerve endings by doing things like spinning, jumping, skipping, running, banging, etc. — anything that provides the necessary stimulation to the nervous system.